Natural Cooking Basics

Fresh Basil Pesto

pesto final

I was luck enough to be gifted a whole lot of fresh basil today! and I am beyond ecstatic because I now get to share with you my very simple yet tasty pesto recipe. Pesto is a staple used in my home for many different meals and snacks. When you find yourself with an oversupply like this or you happen to have found a superb bundle at your local farmers market, this is a yielding way to put it to good use.  I love to use it when making warm or chilled pesto pasta, in lasagna or simply as a topping on a slab of fresh olive bread. I truly love making this recipe. It’s really hard to match the wonderful essence of fresh basil floating about the kitchen… revitalizing and rejuvenating all at the same time.IMG_5798
fresh basil parm


–2 cups of fresh basil, leaves only & packed in tightly

–1/2 cup organic toasted pine nuts

–2-3 medium cloves organic garlic

–½ cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano (freshly grated is key)

–1/3 cup organic extra virgin olive oil


Start with lightly toasting your pine nuts in a small pan on medium-low (3~ minutes). Once toasted, place on the side to cool down.

Go ahead and give your basil a rinse, ensuring it is nice and clean. Ensure all steams are removed. First, add your basil and garlic into a food processor. Pulse until well blended and the basil leaves are broken down to almost a lovely green paste. Add in your toasted pine nuts and freshly grated parmigiano reggiano. Pulse until blended. The ingredients will naturally begin to build up on the sides, you can simply stop your processor and gently scrape down the sides with a spatula to help fold in excess contents. Pulse together until well blended.

Now, slowly drizzle in your olive oil. Allow the processor to run non-stop while doing this. The contents will begin to emulsify and come together nicely. There is no need to add extra salt as the parmigiano has a natural salty flavor that really does the trick.

Tip: Give your pesto a taste prior to removing it from your processor. If it has a slightly strong basil flavor to where it’s almost a little bitter, add in a handful more of pine nuts & a sprinkle more of parmigiano. These two ingredients help balance out that lovely basil flavor.

To store, place your pesto into a container and cover the very top with plastic wrap ensuring it touches the pesto. This will help keep its beautiful vibrant green glow (when exposed to air pesto darkens). Enjoy on warm or chilled pasta, fresh bread or your favorite crackers!

lilas kitchen pestoIMG_5780

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